One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The error of assigning to something a quality or action that can properly be assigned to things only of another category, for example, treating abstract concepts as though they had a physical location.
- ‘Atheism is primarily an episode in the history of the decline of Christianity, and the idea that there is anything resembling an atheist tradition beyond that limited context is a category mistake.’
- ‘To suggest that embodied chemical properties can solve systemic institutional problems is to commit a serious category mistake.’
- ‘To apply the political term ‘authoritarian’ to an ontological account may at first seem to be a simple category mistake.’
- ‘Indeed, some opponents of temporal-parts theories contend that the theory rests on just such a category mistake - the mistake of treating persisting objects as if they were processes.’
- ‘In the words of the philosophers, it is a category mistake to put miracles and laws in the same set.’
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